Gozu

GOZU
(MINOTAUR) 2003

Director: NAME

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



GozuThere is something of the genius in director Takashi Miike, but not invariably. His brilliance is most evident in his perverse Visitor Q, ultra-violent splatterpunk Ichi the KillerRainy Dog.

But he makes his films way too fast -- sometimes six or eight a year -- & in many cases he puts far too little thought into them, resulting in some cases in such garbage as the fluffy teen sci-fi flick Andromedea or the hasty mess MPD-Psycho. So it is very frustrating to be a Miike fan, one never knows if a film is going to be stupid beyond belief or an impressive oddity.

Gozu (full title Gokudo kyofu dai-gekijo: Gozu & also shown in the USA as Yakuza Horror Theater: Gozu) seems like a rough-draft for a better film. If he hadn't made Yakuza Demon, One Missed Call, The Man in White & a shitload of television programming in the same year, he might've had time to rework the script for Gozu before rushing from one sloppy production to the next.

It will please his less thoughtful fan base merely for including about ten minutes' worth of off-the-wall peculiarness, but had fans not been told it was directed by Miike, they might not be so forgiving of the incoherence of the whole.

There is no attempt to give the film even internal rationality, & some ideas, like the "skinned yakuza" tattoo collection or the gangster with the half-white face, are so badly designed & presented that they are entirely unconvincing hence devoid of impact.

The film is often strange yet too illogical to be more than a bad imitation of David Lynch. It's hard to tell when the jokes are intentional, & as an alleged horror film it is far too ridiculous to be even slightly spooky.

It is worth the effort of sticking it out to the final acts, because when Brother returns from death as a beautiful girl the sexuality is whimsically pervo. And the grotesquely silly "birth" sequence is worthy of a giggle & could've been a thrililng climax if it made at least a magical sense, which it does not.

But in all, while such "ideas" as "the half-white face" or "the yakuza godfather who likes to have a ladel up his bum" keep it from being boring, these cartoony stunts don't make the film intelligent & are no substitution for telling a worthwhile story.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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